*This post was written by me on behalf of Culture Mom Media LLC. I received complimentary tickets to review the show. All opinions are 100% mine.
My love affair with Broadway began years ago when I took my class on a trip to see Les Miserables. Everything about seeing a show live on stage absolutely enchanted me, from the bright lights to the beautiful costumes and beyond. Since then, anytime I have the opportunity to go see a play, it excites me.
However, when I received news that I would have the chance to see Soul Doctor on Broadway, I wondered if I would be able to connect to the subject matter since I am not an overly religious person and I assumed that the show would be laden with boring religious overtones and connotations that I would not be able to relate to. Nothing could have been further from the truth…
Soul Doctor tells the story of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach who is credited with being the father of popular Jewish music. His ascent to this title was not without its controversy because he struggled to create harmony between his traditional religious beliefs and the viewpoint of the “Free love” generation of the 1960’s.
After he and his family escaped with their lives from Nazi Germany, young Shlomo nurtured an unlikely friendship with legendary jazz singer Nina Simone, who introduced him to the sounds of soul and gospel music. From this alliance, Shlomo was musically inspired to fuse the traditional sounds of his youth with these new sounds that moved him from within.
Despite these difficulties, he was able to connect to millions around the world with his moving melodies, storytelling, and his never ending supply of love for others. He became known as the “Rock Star Rabbi” and his music helped to define America’s most defiant and turbulent era.
I attended the show with my husband and we were moved by the some of the themes that emerged including a young man’s rite of passage, the struggle to define oneself as an individual despite being culturally labeled, and the desire to gain approval from parents and family. These are topics that most people can relate to personally, regardless of one’s socioeconomic background.
The cast was absolutely amazing. Eric Anderson really delivers a moving performance in his role of Shlomo Carlebach. His ability to step into this character and connect with the audience literally had me in tears by the end of the show.
Amber Iman filled the stage with her tremendous presence in the role of Nina Simone. She is extremely versatile in her depiction of this character and her voice was just breathtaking as she infused all of her emotions into each note and each scene.
I experienced an array of emotions throughout the show from feeling loss through their depiction of the conditions for Jews during Nazi Germany, to feeling exuberant during the renditions of Shlomo’s songs. It would be hard to imagine anyone not being able to connect to the central theme of wanting to affect change in the world despite tremendous odds. This is something that we all struggle with as members of society.
When a show elicits so many emotions from its audience and is immensely entertaining at the same time, you have a recipe for a hit! Make sure you add Soul Doctor to your list of must-see shows on Broadway by following them on Facebook! It is a prescription that your heart and soul simply cannot do without!
Product Review/Giveaway disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above from Culture Mom Media LLC to test/review/giveaway in exchange for my opinion and for the purpose of writing this post. I only recommend products or services I use personally and I believe will be “family friendly.” I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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